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Gordon Langford

Gordon Langford (11 May 1930 – 18 April 2017) was an English composer, arranger and performer. He is well known for his brass band compositions and arrangements. He was also a composer of choral and orchestral music, winning an Ivor Novello award for best light music composition for his March from the Colour Suite in 1971.

Langford was born in Edgware, Middlesex in May 1930 as Gordon Maris Colman. His father was a precision toolmaker. He was a precocious child, beginning piano lessons aged five. At nine, one of his compositions received a public performance. He attended Bedford Modern School and he went on to win a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied piano and composition with Norman Demuth. It was Demuth who suggested that he should change his surname or use a pseudonym. Hence, he changed his name to become Gordon Colman Langford.

In 1951, during his army service with the Royal Artillery Band, he made his first BBC broadcast as a solo pianist. After leaving the army, he worked with seaside orchestras, a touring opera company and as a ship's musician, but it was during the 1960s he came to prominence as a pianist, arranger and composer on BBC programmes such as Music in the Air, Melody around the World and Ronnie Barker's Lines From My Grandfather's Forehead. In later life he lived in East Devon, mainly composing but occasionally appearing in recordings, concerts and broadcasts.

In 2011 he was nominated for a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM) by the Governing Body of the Academy. He died in April 2017.

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